In the district of Maros, next to Makassar – South Sulawesi’s capital and on the route of a new rail line – young people are quitting the village and heading to nearby cities. 

It is now a familiar trend in developing economies. More youths are turning away from traditional farming roles. Even parents share a dream for their children – leave the farm, have an education, find a job.

Maros is changing. Agriculture still dominates, but more manufacturing and services are appearing. With 20 per cent of the population made up of young people (15-24 years), this is an opportunity and a challenge for local policymakers. Policymakers know that they will have to contend with high aspirations and low skills. 

To help policymakers tackle this problem, The Australia-Indonesia Centre is collecting evidence on a range of issues. This evidence will help understand young people’s aspirations for life and work. It will also show opportunities to improve policies, address skills gaps and introduce targeted programs. 

Indonesian local government policymakers to receive regular updates on Australia-Indonesia Centre research